Do you find them puzzling?
We are regularly asked about framework agreements and how they work, so we’ve decided to spell out quite clearly what they are and how they are intended to work to benefit all parties.
What are they?
Framework agreements are often put together to bring several buyers (often from different companies) to put all of their requirements together and then get a better deal from the suppliers.
The framework is often “led” by a key buyer within the group. So it may be a national consortia who all have an interest in buying library books and resources (this example spends over £70m collectively against this agreement) or it could be a catering contract with specific “lots” such as Lot 1: Alcoholic drinks, Lot 2: Sandwiches, Lot 3: Cakes and biscuits.
All of the suppliers then bid against the formatted document, and bid once to cover all parties. Thereafter there are a couple of methods of working
- It can be then conducted via a mini competition (usually price and quality focussed) but only the suppliers who are on the framework will see this price and quality based exercise.
- Or the buyers can quite simply “call off” from the set of suppliers who are on the framework (if the pricing element has already been determined) so unless you are on the framework you will never see any more opportunities until the framework expires.
Guarantee of work
As a general rule of thumb, there is no guarantee of work under the framework, so you may then have to sell to the buyers who are part of the framework agreement, but the good thing about this is, that often they are very pleased to have all of the work (tendering and procurement) already done, so they can simply utilise the framework and get on with placing their orders.
Consider framework as a firm opportunity
Here at Ocurem if your business lends itself to being part of a national or regional framework we would recommend that you consider it, although there is no guarantee of work, there are lots of opportunities within most frameworks and generally you have much less competition. once the initial effort of tendering is done, it is usually much less cumbersome to actually price an offer to the parties who can use the framework, so it’s less effort to win work.